To my knowledge I hadn’t previously tasted cuisine from the land of Tibet and I hadn’t a clue what it was like. Spicy? Asian? Noodles? Extremely foreign and exotic to the taste buds? I swiped the drool created from my day dreaming away from the side of my mouth. Every thought I generated took me back to the numerous moments I had face-in-plate at Great Khan’s Mongolian BBQ in the Santa Monica mall. Surely the spicy noodle dish is a member of the same food family?
Well, I answered all these questions by treating myself to some real deal Tibetan fare on a short jaunt through Bloomington, Indiana at the area’s only Tibetan restaurant – the Snow Lion. Owned and managed by Jigme Norbu, the nephew of the Dali Lama, visitors are in for a rare treat. Regardless of what you like and if you prefer your food a lot less spicy than those made with the fiercest seasonings you’re bound to find it at the Snow Lion. The menu features authentic Tibetan and Indian dishes. Vegan and vegetarian plates are offered as well and said to be just as delicious.
As a first-timer I ordered a light Tibetan style milkshake, which I gulped down with little-to-no guilt. I could have and wanted to order many more, but I waited patiently for my tsel thupek veggie style. I suppose you can say it was a rather simple noodle dish with veggies galore and one exception – it was HOT. I like spicy food. Wait, I take that back. I LOVE spicy food so when I was presented with a scale ranging from 1-5, with 5 being the spiciest I went for it. Much to my surprise it was a lot like the Mongolian noodles I had countless time at the mall, but with a bit more kick. After I finished eating what I could from the flaming dish I decided I’d need to cool off before heading out. Going with the green tea ice cream was almost a no-brainer and the perfect touch to my complete my first Tibetan dining experience. In short I’d have to go again and try something else. Noodles, in my own opinion, are too much alike from place to place.
The Snow Lion is located at 113 S. Grant Street, Bloomington, IN. Ph 812.336.0835. Lunch and dinner are both offered and fairly inexpensive. Most dishes are in the $10-$16 price range. Perfect for couples, friends, and family outings.